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4WD Modifications

Bridgestone

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I’m going to open a can of worms right here and let the slippery little suckers crawl all over the page. As far as I’m concerned, there are a few modifications everybody will benefit from, yet only one of them is ever high on the shopping list. Grab yourself these modifications and I will eat my Akubra (without sauce) if the combination of these doesn’t get you further than ANY OTHER modification you can buy.

Righto, in no particular order, the first modification that you can arm yourself with will allow you to go further for less money. There are a few different varieties, and they all do the job, but my advice is to buy the best you can afford, then use it often. I’m talking about nothing more than an air compressor. See, when it comes down to value for money, NOTHING you can buy will get you further than letting air out of your tyres! Tyre pressures are everything. Of course, you have to be able to replace that air you let out, and that’s where the compressor comes in.

So what’s next? In my humble opinion frontal protection is a great starting point. A bull-bar not only protects against animal strikes; it also allows for mounting of further necessaries.

After this I always budget for tyre and suspension upgrades. Quality rubber and aftermarket suspension will totally transform the way your rig handles on and off the road, and this will make your next trip far more enjoyable behind the wheel.
Next, for relatively little money, you should grab an awning for the side of your 4WD. They keep off rain and sun, making any camp feel like home. Given I like to spend long periods out bush, a dual battery and 12V setup are my next go-to mod. Couple this with a fridge and you are living like a king!


The next mod will allow you to get far greater enjoyment from your 4WD than any other. Trouble is, it’s also perhaps the hardest mod to get your hands on. I was just at the Perth 4WD Show and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t buy it there and no 4WD shop can order it in for me. Yep, as hard as it is to get, time off work is the number one modification I recommend. Without time off work, it doesn’t matter how high you lift your truck, or how big your tyres are; you ain’t going anywhere! Grab as much time off work as you can and use it wisely, trust me, you will get so much more enjoyment out of your 4WD with this one simple mod!

OK, you have a month off and a 4WD sitting in the driveway, what’s the last modification on my list to get you further and see more of this big island? Well, unlike time off work, this modification is readily available; in fact, you can grab yourself some just about anywhere. This is also something I suggest you put a fund away for, cos the more of it you can get, the more places you will see. Yep, I think you have it guessed; the final modification I recommend is fuel.

Now we’re talking, your rig’s handling better than ever, you have your frontal protection and most importantly, you have time off work and enough fuel to sink a tanker. You now have the potential to see more of Australia than you could ever dream.

In my opinion, if you can afford nothing else, time off work and fuel are the best mods that you can ever possibly come across. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying tyres, suspension, recovery gear or the supermarket of extras you CAN buy are not needed. What I am saying is that the individual with the stock GQ who has a motza of time off work, plus a savings fund that allows him to grab fuel as and when needed along with a quality compressor, will, without argument, see more of this great country than their neighbour who has no holidays and no spare cash because they just put 38s and a 6-inch lift under their GQ.


Now you really are starting to be equipped to see the very best this big island has to offer but remember my motto; work to live, don’t live to work!!
Now get out there!


By Graham Cahill


What’s your go-to 4WD mod? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook.


LINKS:

Bridgestone Australia - www.bridgestonetyres.com.au/

Bridgestone Australia Facebook - www.facebook.com/Bridgestone
 

Beachworm

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I agree with most of these essential modifications. It depends to some extent what kind of off roading you are interested in. A good compressor came equal first with a set of AT tyres but then I drive a Forester, not a GQ Patrol which wouldn't have come with road tyres.

I'll forego the bull bar for a bash plate because I'm interested in day trips to explore bush tracks and beaches around Brisbane. I have no intention of trekking in the outback and seeing my wife thinks camping is having to stay in a 3 star motel, an awning, fridge and other camping gear would be a bit of a waste. A good quality tarp does the job. I'm happy to watch videos of Pat Callinan getting bogged and covered in bull dust. I don't need the personal experience.

I've got the time off bit sorted because I'm retired. The problem is, along with retirement goes the issue of finding money to pay for fuel, modifications and inevitable repairs.

The value of mods is horses for courses and Forester drivers might have slightly different priorities to GQ drivers.
 

Ben Up North

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There's nothing worse than warm beer for breakfast. A fridge was my first modification.
 

Beachworm

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Haven't you tried wrapping the can in a petrol-soaked rag and tossing a match at it? Works wonders I'm told. Takes up a lot less room than a fridge in a Forrie. :)
 

Ben Up North

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We put everything else in the trailer, Engel takes pride of place (plus it's only a little one, 40l plastic jobbie)
 

Rally

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Best modification, at the top of the list, is a sump guard. If you don’t have one you’re not fair dinkum about going seriously off road. CB radios, don’t leave home without one. If travelling on sand, a pennant. Better gearing to the extent possible, especially with a manual gearbox. And obviously I would say locking diffs.
 

scalman

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Cooler can make your beer refreshing as well for drinks noone needs fridge. I use it and it does great for drinks.
Most important as he said many times i drive car that takrs me to those amazing places. Its no need hardcore car to take you to amazing places. Subarus are pefectly fine cars to take us to many many great places.
 

Ben Up North

can only hope to improve
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Cooler can make your beer refreshing as well for drinks noone needs fridge. I use it and it does great for drinks.
Ahh, but you're not in 35C temperature at 98% humidity. I challenge your cooler to get down to 5C in those conditions! our Engel can chill room temperature beer in about 20 minutes from off (never actually timed it though)

Agreed about the sump guard [MENTION=44]Rally[/MENTION], that is the best modifcation to start with. We bought the fridge long before doing anything remotely serious off-road. The furthest our Foz went off road in its former life (as a general runabout) was to get to a nice spot in a park where we could set up the camper.
 

scalman

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Yes all is about place where you live and your needs there then you know what works and whats not. And with yout salary there my car would look very much differnt then it is now. But for my life here and for needs its does very good job.
But i see no point in those overlanding videos become cooking tv shows more.
I would say all you need portable shower too. Some say its best modification to their 4wd cars is shower with hot water on side of the car.
 

Rally

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A fridge is not a modification, it’s an accessory
 

duncanm

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I think this gets its right.

First - you need time and motivation. Then you'll see more than anyone with any number of mods on their vehicle.

Mods let you get further into the scrub. They don't get you out of the house.

I've gone plenty of fantastic places with stock cars from minis to my current ride. There's an uncountable number more I've yet to visit.
 

Bridgestone

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I agree with most of these essential modifications. It depends to some extent what kind of off roading you are interested in. A good compressor came equal first with a set of AT tyres but then I drive a Forester, not a GQ Patrol which wouldn't have come with road tyres.

I'll forego the bull bar for a bash plate because I'm interested in day trips to explore bush tracks and beaches around Brisbane. I have no intention of trekking in the outback and seeing my wife thinks camping is having to stay in a 3 star motel, an awning, fridge and other camping gear would be a bit of a waste. A good quality tarp does the job. I'm happy to watch videos of Pat Callinan getting bogged and covered in bull dust. I don't need the personal experience.

I've got the time off bit sorted because I'm retired. The problem is, along with retirement goes the issue of finding money to pay for fuel, modifications and inevitable repairs.

The value of mods is horses for courses and Forester drivers might have slightly different priorities to GQ drivers.
Hi Beachworm,

Thanks for adding to the discussion! Those are some great tips.

Kind regards,
The Bridgestone Team
 

scalman

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Of course mods dont take anywhere and if you doing too much putting on car too much you making it worse in bush not better.
All you need most is motivation and passion for exploration, adventure
 

Beachworm

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Forester X Luxury, sump guard, bigger AT tyres and 50mm Subieliftoz lift, breather extensions
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From my point of view, with a recent background in risk management, I suggest that regardless of what vehicle you are driving and what its modifications are, you need to be well aware of its limitations and yours as a driver. You can push the limits for an exciting drive but if you exceed them, you run a very big risk of becoming part of the scenery. Where you choose to drive should depend on those limitations. If you manage risks in this manner you should always get home in one piece having had a jolly good time doing it.
 

MiddleAgeSubie

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I am all for proper tires and pressures, then much depends on the area.


In forested areas a chain saw can be the most important thing to have. We did some exploring in Montana this July and there are trails where people made hundreds of cuts earlier in the year to open them. Trees above, under, and on both sides, log crossing and using the roof basket as a skid plate, it has been a new experience for me.


Best "mod" for Montana, it seems, would be an old small Jeep or an old Forester. There are relatively few hard trails but even some with mild surface are not very friendly to paint or bodies even in July; I can imagine the risks to both in muddy conditions earlier in the year.
 
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